On this most recent NYC visit, we made a stop in the Lower East Side to see this boutique hotel gem which was completed in summer of 2014. Hotelier Sean MacPherson (also known for the Bowery and Maritime Hotels among others) turned an empty, concrete building into an effortlessly cool and comfortable hotel offering 184 rooms in 10 different types. While the spaces of the Ludlow look great, what the entire hotel offers most importantly, is an amazing, whole-picture feel - like you’re staying in NYC as a local. You can really slip into the feel of the neighborhood and MacPherson’s impression of it from the gritty, glory days of the 1980s. In fact, MacPherson has gone on record explaining his wish that the lobby serve over time as a living room for the neighborhood. The mix of new and vintage furniture in mahogany and cognac leathers, printed tweed, purple velvet, animal hides and fur seem inherited down many times from a favorite relative, and no detail (hand-stitched curtains, worn and whimsical tchotchkes, Indian rugs, tiny iridescent tiles) seems the least bit out of place, contrived or curated. It all just works.
What to notice...
1) Check out the custom reception desk and admire the old school drawers behind it.
2) Enjoy the legit, word-burning limestone fireplace, flanked by burnt out brass sconces and Marshall speaker cabinets hanging down from chains. Look around for a Ron Gorchov painting and freak out a little.
3) Try to think of a place in your house you can work in one of the vintage de Sede Snake Non Stop Sofas and how you would ever be able to afford one.
4) Imagine the past life of the recycled factory windows separating the Lobby from the Dirty French restaurant and all the stories they reflect.
5) Order a $16 Lilikoi cocktail at the zinc coated bar in the corner and enjoy it sitting under the hotel’s greenhouse structure that is apparently pleasant year-round.
6) Covet the black and white brushstroke pants of the cocktail waitress.
7) If you stay the night, you’ll sleep on a four poster bed from Portugal, surrounded by inserted and white-washed ceiling beams and even more amazing brass fixtures (including Hollywood style vanity lights in the bathrooms).
8) Marvel at the museum-quality guestroom art, curated by the NYC magnate, Vito Schnabel.
9) Witness the room literally expand after dark as the city view becomes the centerpiece of the small, simple space.
10) Enjoy the authentic, surprisingly low-key street, capped off by the iconic Katz’s Deli on your way to the F or the 6 and the rest of the great city where unique experiences are the norm.